Frequently Asked Questions About Insurance After a Car Accident
What will my insurance cover in a car accident?
Alabama is a tort state, which means the at-fault driver pays all of a victim’s medical expenses. The victim can also pursue compensation for additional damages, including lost wages or pain and suffering. What your insurance company will cover varies depending on several factors. These include fault, level of coverage and total liability coverage. Your insurance policy gives details on what is covered or excluded.
Must I pay my deductible if I am not at fault in a car accident?
You are not typically required to pay a deductible when you are found not to be at fault in a car accident. If it is not entirely apparent which driver is at fault in an accident, you may then have to file a claim, and pay a deductible, through your own insurance company. Your insurance may then pursue the other driver’s insurance, and reimburse your deductible if they recover.
If a car accident is my fault, what does the insurance company do?
Alabama, like most states, is a fault state in regard to insurance coverage and car accidents. In the event of a car accident, the insurance company representing the at-fault driver will pay expenses, including vehicle damage, medical bills, pain and suffering, or lost wages through its liability coverage. Insurance companies determine fault according to state laws regarding comparative, modified comparative, contributory or pure contributory negligence.
After a car accident, how long do I have to report it to my insurance?
In Alabama, the statute of limitations following a car accident is two years. This determines how long you have to file suit for either property damage or personal injury. Your insurance policy may specify a maximum number of days to report a claim. Beyond this time, they can disallow your claim. While retaining an attorney is not required after an accident, it can often help if you obtain legal advice before contacting your insurance company. Discussing your legal options helps ensure you make the best decisions, especially if you have been injured.
After a car accident, what documents will I need for an insurance claim?
In order to properly document the events of a car accident, gather all available evidence before filing a claim. In the event you are injured, gather all personal and medical records, including doctor’s bills, emergency room reports and discharge instructions. Be sure to include records of any time lost from work. If your vehicle has been damaged, photograph all evidence of this damage in detail. A detailed police report with your recollection of events will help prevent any other parties from attempting to shift blame onto you.
After a car accident, how long will an insurance claim take?
The time needed to settle a claim for property damage or personal injuries after a car accident can vary greatly. The amount of effort required to properly document all property damage or assess injuries will play an important part. If the accident involves another driver, settling an insurance claim may take longer—especially if their insurance company argues who is at fault.
What does car accident forgiveness mean?
Though not available nationwide, many insurance companies in Alabama will offer Accident Forgiveness—a program designed to keep insurance premiums from increasing if you are found at fault in a car accident. This can keep an accident from affecting a driver’s insurance rating and protect his or her driving record. While some insurance companies include the feature with all policies, others allow drivers to purchase a separate endorsement, provided they meet certain qualifying conditions.